The average American man 20 years old and up weighs . The average waist circumference is 40.2 inches, and the average height is just over 5 feet 9 inches (about 69.1 inches) tall.
When broken down by age group, the average weights for American men are as follows:
|Age group (Years)||Average weight (Pounds)|
|60 and older||194.7|
As time wears on, American men are increasing in both stature and weight. , the average man weighed 166.3 pounds and stood at 68.3 inches (just over 5 feet 8 inches) tall.
American women are also reporting an increase in height and weight over time.
, the average woman weighed 140.2 pounds and was 63.1 inches tall. By comparison, weighs 170.6 pounds, has a waist circumference of 38.6 inches, and is just under 5 feet 4 inches (about 63.7 inches) tall.
Here’s more about why this is happening and what you can do to keep your weight in a healthy range for your stature.
The average weight of people in the United States and North America as a whole is higher than any other region in the world.
In 2012, BMC Public Health reported the following average weights by region. The averages were calculated using data from 2005, and relied on combined statistics for men and women:
- North America: 177.9 pounds
- Oceania, including Australia: 163.4 pounds
- Europe: 156.1 pounds
- Latin America/Caribbean: 149.7 pounds
- Africa: 133.8 pounds
- Asia: 127.2 pounds
The world average for an adult’s weight is 136.7 pounds.
Compiling average weights is simple enough, but determining a healthy or ideal weight is a little more complicated.
One of the most common tools for this is the body mass index (BMI). BMI uses a formula that involves your height and weight.
To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared. Multiply that result by 703. You can also enter this information into an .
To know whether your BMI is normal or if it falls under another category, consult the information below:
- Underweight: anything under 18.5
- Healthy: anything between 18.5 and 24.9
- Overweight: anything between 25 and 29.9
- Obese: anything above 30
Although BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, its results do correlate somewhat closely with the results of other body fat measurement methods.
Some of these methods include:
The BMI isn’t always a perfect tool to gauge whether your weight is in the healthy or normal range.
An athlete, for example, may weigh more than a non-athlete of the same height, but be in much better physical condition. That’s because muscle is denser than fat, which contributes to a higher weight.
Gender is also a consideration. Women tend to store more body fat than men. Likewise, older adults tend to carry more body fat and have less muscle mass than younger adults of the same height.
If you’re looking for a reasonable estimate of an ideal weight for your height, consider the following table:
|Height in feet and inches||Healthy weight in pounds|
One of the main limitations of BMI is that it doesn’t take a person’s body composition into consideration. A slim man and a broad-shouldered man of the same height may have very different weights but be equally fit.
There are other measurements that can give you a more accurate idea of whether or not you’re at a healthy weight.
One such measurement is the waist-to-hip ratio. The waist-to-hip ratio is important because weight stored in the abdominal area puts you at a higher risk for certain health conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Measurements will be taken at your natural waist (right above your belly button) as well as the widest part of your hips and buttocks.
In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended a maximum waist-to-hip ratio of 0.90 for men and 0.85 for women. Ratios of 1.0 and 0.90, respectively, put men and women at high risk for health problems.
Despite its overall usefulness, the waist-to-hip ratio isn’t recommended for everyone. Some groups, including children and those with a BMI over 35, may find that other methods provide a more accurate assessment of their fitness.
Body fat percentage
There are a variety of ways to determine your body fat percentage, including skinfold thickness measurements and densitometry. Your doctor or a personal trainer may be able to perform these types of tests.
Online calculators can also use measurements such as your height, weight, and wrist circumference to estimate your body fat percentage.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), an organization for fitness professionals, uses the following classifications for male body fat percentage:
|Classification||Body fat percentage (%)|
|Obese||25 and up|
Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent a range of problems, such as:
If you need to drop a few pounds to get to your ideal weight, here are some key steps to help get you there:
Set realistic weight loss goals
Instead of focusing on a large, big-picture goal, aim for a small goal. For example, instead of being set on losing 50 pounds this year, aim for losing a pound a week.
Follow a healthy diet
Your diet should focus mainly on the following foods:
Pay attention to portion sizes
Try cutting your usual mealtime portions in half. If you typically have two slices of pizza on Saturday night, just have one and some salad. A food journal can help you track what and how much you’re eating.
Aim for 30 to 40 minutes daily or at least 150 minutes per week. Your exercise regimen should include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. You can also work out with a friend or family member to motivate you to get up and move.
Although being 69.1 inches tall and weighing 197.9 pounds may be “average” for an American man, that also indicates a BMI of 29.1 — the high end of the “overweight” classification. Average doesn’t always mean ideal, at least in the United States.
You should also keep in mind that there are several different formulas and calculations used to determine ideal weight in relation to height. None of them are perfect. You may be just the right weight for your large frame, even though another measure may label you as overweight.
Healthy weight isn’t always a guarantee of good health. You can have a normal BMI, but if you smoke and don’t exercise or eat right, you’re still at risk for heart disease and other underlying conditions.
If you’re concerned about your health, talk with your doctor.
They can help you understand where exactly your weight falls on the spectrum and how this may relate to your overall health. If needed, they can help set a good goal weight for you and work with you on strategies to get there.